Scodix Tips & Tricks for Every Graphic Designer

When you’re using Scodix SENSE, the state-of-the-art print enhancement technology, you’re in for a treat: it helps transform something ordinary into an extraordinary delight for the senses.

By using a clear polymer that’s printed directly onto the image you want to enhance, printers with Scodix technology can create a 3D effect.

Scodix offers a variety of high-impact textural designs at designers’ disposal, from variable densities, to high-gloss, to metallic coloring utilizing the CMYK process.

The effects you can achieve are truly magical, but this doesn’t mean preparing files for your printer will be scary. Take heart – and use these Scodix tips & tricks.

These are the 4 basic steps to remember when preparing Scodix files:

  1. Create a separate layer.

Once your design is finalized, create an additional layer for whatever areas in your design you want enhanced. Name your base layer “CMYK,” then name the Scodix layer to reflect the particular enhancement you want to add – i.e., UV, Foil.

  1. Create the Scodix Spot Color Swatch.

You need to create a distinct color swatch when using Scodix, so that your files separate properly once they reach your commercial printer. Make sure that you set this new swatch as a spot color in your file, so that the Scodix effect doesn’t get mixed up with the process colors in your job file.

  1. Apply Varying Densities Deliberately

To achieve a high gloss effect, apply full density (100% opacity). For a matte effect, apply a low density (5%-30%) opacity. (Densities between 31-99 appear essentially the same as 100%, and are therefore not recommended.) Different opacity levels will look different on different substrates. Test to see the differences.

  1. Save Your File and Send It to Your Printer

It’s critical that your printer sees the Scodix layer clearly. Save your layers separately for this step: one layer for CMYK, another file for the Scodix layer. It’s easy to do this –just “shut off” the Scodix layer. Then you’ll only see the CMYK layer. Export a PDF of this layer and tag it as “CMYK” in the file name before sending it to the printer. Repeat this step by shutting off the CMYK layer. Create a PDF of the Scodix layer, tag it before sending it so there’s no confusion when the printer gets it.

Extra Tips to Remember

These additional tips for designers will save you time and worry. 

  • Different opacity levels look different depending on the substrate, so test them beforehand.
  • Because Scodix is a clear polymer, it’s recommended you work in grayscale mode during the design process.
  • If you’re working with line art in Photoshop, save your artwork as 1200 DPI bitmap TIFFs, which print a lot sharper than 300 DPI grayscale eps files.
  • With this polymer, less is more. Don’t be heavy-handed when designing areas for the Scodix treatment. You’ll get a better result.
  • Avoid applying Scodix over any of these: cut lines, bleeds, creases, or folds. The polymer might break or peel.
  • Take care when your design has diagonal lines, for sometimes these look unsmooth when the polymer is applied. Best suggestion? Your image should be high-res and the elements should be in vector format.
  • It’s better to put Scodix on dark elements with a light background than vice versa.
  • Don’t worry about treating your crop marks, registration marks, color bars or file names any differently with Scodix. There’s no need!

Although Scodix is an advanced technology that creates high-impact textural designs on your print materials, it’s easy for any graphic designer to implement. These basic guidelines and tips will help ensure your files are print-ready.

To learn more about Scodix, click here.

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